Hey Elephant Eaters! We are moving into our last week of the series 31 Days of Eating Elephants. How are you doing with your elephants – your big dreams, goals and projects that look impossible?
This week is Action Week. We’ve gotten our minds focused on the goal, broken it down into smaller pieces, made a plan to get it done. All of that is good and necessary and in a lot of ways, it feels like progress, right?
But here is the reality. If we don’t take consistent, intentional steps and create new habits, we are no closer to eating that elephant than when we started.
It’s easy to watch the Nike ads and say, “Just Do It.” But if it was that easy, Nike would not have spent billions of dollars reminding us of that simple fact. How do we “Just Do It”?
I learned one key habit from Lysa TerKeurst’s best-selling book, Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food. In Chapter 1, Lysa reminds us that we crave what we consume.
If I make healthy choices over a period of time, it seems to re-program my taste buds. The more veggies and fruit I eat, the more veggies and fruit I crave. However, if I eat brownies and chips, I crave brownies and chips in the worst kind of way.
Lysa describes this principle in both a physical and spiritual sense. She goes on to say:
We consume what we think about…What we are craving will always depend on whatever we’re consuming … the object of our desire or God and His truth.
This is true in almost all areas of my life. Whatever I consume, that’s what I crave. As long as I keep all that craving and consuming in the perspective of God’s best for me, then it’s a good thing.
So how do you create the craving to consume your elephant? Let’s look at three ways:
1. Stay focused on one goal
If you try to accomplish too many things at once, your focus and your energy will be diluted. When I’ve tried to work on a big project at work and organize something at home as well, it is just too much for my brain to handle all at once.
If possible, clear your plate of other non-essential responsibilities so you can truly dig in. Do one thing really well, complete it, then start another one.
2. Inject constant reminders to your daily routine
A few years back, I lost almost 100 pounds in a year. During that time, I was focused on that goal. I filled my Facebook and Twitter feeds with friends, celebrities and experts who were constantly posting encouragement, information and their own struggles (Lysa TerKeurst, Olivia Ward and Mandisa to be specific). I read Made to Crave multiple times and associated with others on their own weight loss journeys. These constant reminders kept my head in the game and kept me accountable.
The same will hold true with eating elephants. If your elephant is to start your own online business, fill your newsfeed with people like Michael Hyatt, Jon Acuff or Alex Navas, who are providing great business advice from a Biblical perspective. If your elephant is writing a book or a starting a blog, follow Jeff Goins, Chad Allen and Christine Niles, who are the biggest cheerleaders around for writers .
Whatever elephant you are eating, consistently feeding off of successful elephant eaters will create a craving to work on your own actions.
3. Celebrate your early successes
We naturally get buried in our long list of actions and don’t realize early on how much we have accomplished. It takes an incredible amount of energy just to get the ball rolling.
If you created your Planning Six-Pack, you have an action half-way through your plan to evaluate and adjust. But don’t wait that long to look at what you have done and pat yourself on the back. Share with others who understand what you are going through and can celebrate with you.
Celebrating early and often reminds you just how much of that elephant you have eaten and makes you hungry for more!
Do you have some early successes to share? Let’s hear it so we can celebrate YOU!
I’m linking up with Crystal Storms at #IntentionalTuesday.